Backstage Beauty

NYFW’s #1 Beauty Trend Is Straight Out Of The ‘90s

Your brown lip liner is calling.

Originally Published: 
Kim shui beauty spring summer 2023
Sarah Shecker

The ‘90s are back, baby. Backstage at New York Fashion Week, nostalgic beauty trends like brown lipstick, velvety textures, and French manicures reigned supreme — a clear indicator that our ‘90s obsession will be going strong for Spring/Summer ‘23. Models backstage traded dewy, glazed donut skin for matte finishes (sorry, Hailey!): think your favorite ‘90s beauty icons like Naomi Campbell as your inspo.

At Sergio Hudson, models marched down the runway in full ‘90s supermodel glam, while models at Alice + Olivia brought us back to middle school with scrunchies and colorful French tips. Susan Alexandra’s playful show at the Comedy Cellar consisted of models donning metallic nails and butterfly clips.

This New York Fashion week was filled with ‘90s (and Y2K) beauty inspo — see the top trends ahead.

Supermodel Glam

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Models at Sergio Hudson marched down the runway with sky-high updos and softly-sculpted eyes and cheeks. Stila’s Global Beauty Director Charlie Riddle credited his inspiration for this look to ‘90s supermodel glam “that’s perfect for a night out.” (But also, it’s giving Fran Drescher on ‘90s sitcom The Nanny — iconic!)

Scrunchies & French Tips

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Alice + Olivia hit peak ‘90s nostalgia with our favorite hair accessory: the scrunchie. Moroccanoil Global Artistic Director, Kevin Hughes describes the look as “a classic bun that is made playful with that pop of color.” The models also were styled in fun colored French tips with the help of Kiss.

Matte Minimalist

Sandy Liang’s runway featured effortless and minimal makeup to complement the runway looks; lead makeup artist Carolina Dali credited ‘90s style icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy as the inspiration (she used Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint on models to create the perfect satin skin finish).

Brown Lipstick

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Kim Shui models embraced brown lipstick and gleaming highlighter — a combo that graced practically every red carpet in the ‘90s.

Metallic Nails & Butterfly Clips


Instead of a traditional runway show, Susan Alexandra hosted a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar in New York with comedians as her models. The brand worked with Amika to create ‘90s supermodel hair looks that featured side-parts and whimsical butterfly hair clips. The manicures, done by nail artist Holly Falcone, were metallic and glittery, using Orly nail polishes for a ‘90s-glam effect.

Defined Lip Liner

Inspired by ‘90s looks worn by Naomi Campbell, makeup artist T.Cooper chose sultry, smoky eyeshadow and a lined lip as the look for the Tia Adeola show. The makeup was created using products from cult-favorite beauty brand Espressoh.

The 90s are coming back and we’re not mad about it!

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